Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Better problems to have

"Honey, don't be guilty. Be grateful."--My step-grandmother, many times throughout my life

"I want to get married in OUR country, not YOUR church."--Bumper sticker seen in California

Sometimes I feel the need to pause and be grateful for everything I've got, but especially my problems. I'd been following the Proposition 8 trial in California pretty closely, and getting angrier by the day at the depths to which homophobes will sink. Other bloggers have been documenting that--I've been too busy for it, and usually January is a pretty slow month for me. Monday, I got a voice mail from my gynecologist. I hate voice mail, but I'll always check one from her!

My "bad cramps" are my uterine fibroids are coming back, and I need to consider my treatment options. (I'll probably blog more about that later. I definitely will should I have surgery. Promise not to make it *too* graphic.) If I do have surgery, there's no more belly-dancing or dancing of any other kind for weeks, and then I have to tiptoe my way back into it. No surfing or swimming for weeks, either. And then there are those activities that I can't do at the gym or beach without getting arrested. But I want this to stop, damn it, just stop. I'm not happy. And I haven't even said this much about it to anyone IRL besides L'Ailee and my closest female friends. L'Ailee isn't happy about it, either, but she was amazing about it five years ago when I needed treatment. She will be again.

Last night, she and her best friend A. had an opportunity to go watch their Detroit Red Wings together at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island. They went with other friends of A.'s who are New York Islanders fans. There weren't enough tickets for me. L'Ailee asked me repeatedly whether I was really okay with it, since her work's keeping me from seeing a lot of her and she's been coming home tired. Grudgingly, I kept saying, "Of course it's okay." Even though we'd just recently seen quite a bit of live hockey the week of Yule and Christmas, live games are a fairly rare opportunity for us, and I knew she'd hate to have to watch on TV when she could be sitting next to A. I watched the game myself on TV, just to get a gauge of what to expect when she came home. I think I saw a glimpse of them, too--there weren't many red Winged Wheel jerseys, and probably weren't that many small women with super-short dark hair and red lipstick seated next to huge blond men, either.

The Islanders have been a much better team than they were last year. And, thanks mostly to a revolving door of injuries, the Wings have been somewhat worse. Still, there were some expectations, and those expectations were not met. The Wings didn't just lose. They got shut out by the Isles, 6-0. Or as L'Ailee exclaimed when she held up her fingers to show the numbers, "I need both of my hands for this!" Even though she is an atheist and claims not to believe in such things, she's beginning to believe her presence is nothing but bad luck for her team. This newfound superstition is, of course, my fault.

"Are you all right?" L'Ailee asked me when she was done. "You look like something very bad happened. Something more serious than a game."
"It did." The earthquake in Haiti happened at about 4:20 pm yesterday. L'Ailee went right from work to the game without hearing anything about it. I got her up to speed, and we put on the news for a few minutes. She forgot about her team's humiliation very quickly.

I'd watched news coverage during intermissions, and tried to call my friend Alain in Florida. He emigrated from Haiti as a small boy. I couldn't get through on his landline or his cell. His wife is also a friend of mine, and I couldn't get through on her cell, either. Well, of course. I didn't even try his mother. I wrote e-mails to them instead. Alain answered this morning with a mass e-mail. Since the means of communication (such as they were) are down in Haiti, he and his family don't know much more than anyone else.

My step-grandmother, my paternal grandfather's second wife, says a lot of things. She tells me that "things will look better in the morning." Haiti looked worse, though, so much worse. I find myself grateful for my problems. Grateful that I can get to a gynecologist for a routine physical and contemplate surgery. Grateful that I am basically looking at a few weeks' inconvenience. Grateful that I'm angry about homophobes in California defending their "right" to vote on whether other adult citizens can marry or not. Grateful that I didn't worry about whether my wife would come home, but about her mood after watching her team get their asses handed to them on a night when she paid her hard-earned money for a ticket.

When this news cycle ends and the talking heads forget, I want to remember.

Links, links:

I wrote a small post suggesting places to send money this morning, but MSNBC and Yahoo! both have larger lists, and more needs are coming out. Maegan la Mamita Mala is specifically searching for ways that people in NYC can help, and not just with money.

Since we can't get video from the Proposition 8 trial, is providing a really helpful resource by liveblogging.

A California woman's touching story about her same-sex prison wedding.

Evolution and the human Y chromosome. Really cool.

Finally, while we were watching the Isles humiliate the Wings, Alex Ovechkin's teammate Matt Bradley took a fight for him at the Washington Capitals/Tampa Bay Lightning game. L'Ailee has decided she's found her new dream job: teaching her Russian brothers in the NHL how to fight. And yes, I did snicker a little and say something brief about how "Crosby at least fights for himself sometimes."


bluzdude said...

It's funny how though we fuss and wring our hands about the fates of our sports teams, life has a way of showing you what's really important.

I'm hoping the best for you with your surgery thing. And I totally think you should blog it. Who knows, your story could help someone.

BostonPobble said...

Amazing how easy it is to forget how lucky we are. *sigh* At the same time, health *does* matter; civil rights *do* matter ~ so it's definitely an and-both situation, not an either-or situation. Sports? Yeah, probably not so important. ;)

Keep us posted on your health, okay? We care out here in cyberspace.

Barbara aka Layla said...

I've missed reading here! Its been crazy again but things have settled down. I am getting caught up with you.

Dr. Deb said...

I have to find that bumper sticker. It's great.